As far as I know, I’ve never NOT owned a mountain bike. Even as a kid, I had something with two wheels, knobby tires, and pedals, and I rode that machine off road, even then. I didn’t become “serious” about mountain bikes until I was about twelve years old, but like I said, I always rolled on a mountain bike.
So, the good news is, I sold the Gunnar.
The bad news is, the money I got for it immediately went toward paying my rent, student loans, groceries, etc.
That means I can’t afford to replace it.
For the first time in my life, I don’t own a mountain bike…and it’s bumming me out. Hard.
I’ve got the road bike, but I can’t seem to bring myself to ride it. I think it has something to do with feeling unsettled: I’ve spent the last twenty years with a mountain bike in my possession, and it was more than just a toy in the garage: it was a piece of me, a rolling definition of who I am. What happens when that part of me is gone? More importantly, what happens when it cannot be replaced?
So I’m living a life without a bike. If you had asked me a few years ago if I’d be able to do this, I would have laughed. Fuck bikes, I would have told you, because that’s where I was at that point. Fuck bikes, fuck bike people, fuck bike culture, fuck it all.
Well, now I’m fucked, because I’m all off kilter without a bike. Shit, I had no idea the bike had so much control over me. It’s like a limb, and I just got amputated. Self-inflicted gun shot.
When you lose a limb like this, you’re forced to examine exactly how this came to be. Denial, anger, acceptance, blah blah blah…yep, it all applies here. I got myself into this mess. I sold the Gunnar so I could replace it, not so I could pay my bills…but here we are: D2 is an adult and has responsibilities because it’s not just about me anymore. I’ve got people counting on me. So I made the tough choice to forego the nice new shiny bike and pay my bills. Fuck adulthood.
It’s the tough choices that define us, certainly. I’ve been defined so many times throughout my life by the easy choice, the cowardly one. Staying on the trail. Ignoring bad shifting. Getting drunk and getting by. That’s fine. I enjoyed it. I reveled in it, really, for a time.
Now responsibility has come knocking at my door, and there’s nothing to do but pay the piper. I paid with one of the things I love most dearly: my mountain bike.
This is symbolic somehow, I’m sure. But fuck symbolism, too. I made a choice. I made the hard choice. Now it’s time to see if my friends are right when they tell me good things will come to me if I just put it out there for the universe to see.
Well here I am, universe. What have you got for me today?
RIP Gunnar Rock Hound 2008-2012. I’d like to say you’ll be missed, but really, I only miss your replacement…by